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One-Handed Catch

av M. J. Auch

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2581275,792 (4.28)Ingen/inga
After losing his hand in an accident in his father's butcher shop in 1946, sixth-grader Norman uses hard work and humor to learn to live with his disability and to succeed at baseball, art, and other activities.

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Summary: Eleven-year-old Norm loses his hand in a meat grinder at his father's store, on the 4th of July, in 1946. What follows is how he handles the tragedy as well as his mother and father (which are quite different), and more importantly, how he overcomes the adversity, ultimately triumphing in finding an impressive amount of normalcy again, to include playing baseball.

Personal Reaction: I absolutely loved it. A truly inspiring story, it is mixed with poignancy, grit, and humor!

Classroom Extensions: Have the kids keep a hand tied behind their back (gently, of course) and take them outside and engage them in a game of catch....with a larger, lightweight ball. See if they could do it, and if so, how they'd manipulate the ball, with only one hand/arm to use.

Norm, the character in the book also enjoyed art. I'd have the kids paint using only one hand. I'd immobilize (gently) the other arm. I'd also demonstrate to them how he was able to do art after his accident despite losing his hand.
  Dowrox | Jul 19, 2016 |
Narrated by Ryan Sparkes and cast. This story covers a year in Norm's life starting when he loses his hand in his father's meat grinder through the one-year anniversary of the accident, a day when he helps pitch a baseball game. The scene describing the accident isn't gruesome but readers may squirm at the idea. Norm doesn't let too much get him down, but he does experience frustration, as when his mother insists he start learning to do for himself, or his father and best friend Leon aren't supportive of Norm's efforts to overcome his injury. And occasionally there are tears and anger. Norm, however, continues to work hard at the things that are important to him, including finding a way to catch and hit in baseball.

The audio presentation is delightful. The boy reading for Norm brings in a boyish, gee-whiz spirit and even better, his voice is changing so you occasionally hear his voice crack which only adds to the appeal and authenticity of the story. Swing music interludes between chapters set the 1940s atmosphere. An interview with the author and her husband who is the inspiration for Norm closes the audio. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Norm has dreamed of becoming a great baseball player since he could throw a ball. An accident with his dad's meat grinder quickly makes that dream much more difficult to achieve - but not impossible.

Told in a way that only an 11-year-old boy could, humor is abundant. His father guiltily indulges him, but his mother refuses to let anything change. Because of them, Norm is pushed into believing that he really could continue to live his life and plan his dreams in the same way he did before - it will just take a little creativity and a great attitude. ( )
  agrudzien | Aug 12, 2012 |
I liked this sweet story about determination in the face of adversity. I came to care about Norm and admire him as he moved through the year in his life after an accident that resulted in his hand being amputated. His mom and dad handled the accident really differently, with his mom refusing to give him any special treatment and asking others do the same. An afterward by the author shares that this story was inspired by her husband losing his hand in a similar manner when he was young. ( )
  ewyatt | Jan 7, 2012 |
Grades 4 and up

Sixth-grader Norm loses his left hand in an accident at his family's store. This historical fiction book shows the challenges Norm works hard to overcome throughout the first year after the accident. It's a very quick, engaging read. ( )
  MrsSparks | Aug 2, 2011 |
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After losing his hand in an accident in his father's butcher shop in 1946, sixth-grader Norman uses hard work and humor to learn to live with his disability and to succeed at baseball, art, and other activities.

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